Water-Soluble CBD to Revolutionize Food and Bev Industry

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive oil found in cannabis with a multitude of medicinal properties, but it doesn’t mix well with water and other polar solvents, making its incorporation into many food and beverage items a challenge. Usually CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) extracts are dissolved into other oils and butters and then incorporated into a food product; however, what if you wanted to mix it in water or other non-alcoholic drinks?

Trait Biosciences’ patent-pending (20190316144) Trait Distilled‚Ñ¢ technology for creating a water-soluble CBD is said to be able to do just that, and inside a growing plant! By attaching several sugar molecules to the CBD molecule in a process called glycosylation, the chemical properties of the glycosylated CBD molecule perturb to now favor mixing with water. The bioavailability of the glycosylated CBD increases immensely as well as it can now be absorbed into the bloodstream more effectively. 

What’s really attractive about the Trait Distilled‚Ñ¢ technology is that it is implemented in vivo, or in living organisms, which with a little more engineering could become a silver bullet for the industry. Keep in mind, this is all theoretical. 

At the moment, plant cell suspension cultures are modified to encode a glycosylation protein that targets cannabinoids which are then used to process cannabinoid extracts. The reason cannabis is not modified directly to encode this glycosylation protein is because the cannabinoids can be cytotoxic and once water-soluble their trafficking in the cell to the trichomes, a safe storage location, will be compromised, leading to the death of the plant. 

If researchers can find a way to complete the process entirely in cannabis, or another cannabinoid biosynthesizing organism, then at scale this will completely revolutionize the way we think about cannabis cultivation and processing. 

Trait Biosciences (Trait) is a cannabis biotechnology company working to genetically modify cannabis to exploit its most useful properties. Trait is currently assigned one patent and six applications for cannabinoid biosynthesis and genetic modification of cannabis, making them well-suited to find a way to complete the process in one organism.

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